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Sri Lanka remembers 2011 World Cup, forgets Avishka Gunawardene, Nuwan Zoysa, Dilhara Lokuhettige

Written by N Krishnamurthy

A statement by a publicity hungry politician and a series of tweets by a ‘now living in a bubble’ former cricketer has sparked a controversy about Sri Lanka’s defeat in the 2011 World Cup final against a superlative India. Now, everyone, including a banned Thilanga Sumathipala, is cashing in by making nonsense statements and getting cheap publicity, by shamelessly undermining the sheer brilliance of charismatic Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his team. Country’s Sports Minister Dallas Alahapperuma, knowing that general elections are around the corner, has also ordered for an immediate inquiry. Amid this circus, however, no one in Sri Lanka cricket bothers what is happening to their other three players – Avishka Gunawardene, Nuwan Zoysa and Dilhara Lokuhetitge!

In May 2019, Gunawardene, along with Zoysa and Lokuhettige, was charged by the ICC under the Emirates Board Anti-corruption Code. The charges relate to the T10 Cricket League played in the UAE in December 2017.

After 13 months, things remains the same. These three players have not demanded a dinner date with ICC so called Anti Corruption Unit (ACU) people. Neither, they are running away from the inquiry! All they wants is a proper hearing! And before that hearing, answers of some very basic questions, which will give them a chance to prepare their case before the so called inquiry!

However, ACU has messed up it (probably deliberately) that much perfectly, that sometimes one gets surprised why none of these players have taken extreme action!

Cricket Age understands that all the three players are ready to face a (fair) trail. They are also ready for any sort of punishment even, if they finds guilty after the hearing.

For now, ACU has just been keeping them in wilderness, only because they have asked some very basic questions – whether the T10 league 2017 edition was ICC sanctioned or not? Whether the team that participated in the league from Sri Lanka was approved by the then Sports Minister and selected by the then selection committee or not? And, why only Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) CEO Ashley De Silva was handling everything related to that league on behalf of the cricket board?

Not only the ever incompetent ACU, local authorities have also turned blind! Avishka Gunawardene has also requested for a local inquiry. He has written to the SLC, former Sports Minister Harin Fernando and his successor Dallas Alahapperuma as well.

SLC, as anyone can expect, has not bothered to reply to Avishka. And, the board is not expected to reply in upcoming few decades either, as long as that Ashley De Silva is there!

Harin Fernando, meanwhile, was too big and too busy for these sort of things, as he was taking dinners with ICC incompetent chief Shashank Manohar itself, apart from setting up an ACU laboratory in Colombo, where Steve Richardson and his colleagues can do all sort of experiments, while enjoying the paid holidays in beautiful Sri Lanka!

Dallas, surprisingly, replied to him – saying he is looking after it. It was four months ago! He is still looking after it!

It gives a clear indication – no one bothers about you, if you don’t tweet (Mahela), or you don’t carries a political profile (Mahindananda).

That’s why, it took merely few hours for concerned authorities to make statements, initiating inquiry on the 2011 World Cup, that too based on a former Sports Minister statement, who has suddenly waken up after 9 years and is talking nonsense!

As for as the ACU is concerned, they will surely be more worried about that approximately 11, 800$, than this less important matter!

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N Krishnamurthy